Ethel Diettert was born and raised in Missoula, MT. She attended Missoula County High School, and graduated from St. Patrick's School of Nursing in 1947. In 1949 she married her husband, Gerald Diettert. Together they raised 4 children and have 13 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. She enjoys golfing and reading. In her free time, she knits and sews hats, scarves, blankets and Christmas stockings for local shelters.
Ethel exemplifies the true spirit of senior service. She extends her infectious “can do” attitude to every aspect of her life. She models a life of caring, commitment and distinction for her children and grandchildren. She has spent her life encouraging her family and others to give as fully and freely of their talents and time to benefit people in need throughout Missoula County.
Ethel is every organization’s dream volunteer. She has boundless energy, lively enthusiasm and keen intelligence, combined with a lifelong commitment to community service. Ethel, a retired nurse, has served in the RSVP Volunteer Program for over 16 years, contributing an astonishing 2,800 community service hours to more than 20 Missoula nonprofit agencies.
As an RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, Ethel is a conduit to civic engagement for other RSVP volunteers. Ethel’s admirable skills and abilities have provided the critical support for vital fundraisers and special events to those nonprofit agencies in urgent need of volunteer support. Her efforts support, sustain and benefit organizations and programs, providing assistance to Missoula residents in need. She combines strong medical, organizational and people skills to support the work of nonprofit organizations throughout Missoula County. Ethel contacts and schedules hundreds of RSVP members to assist organizations like the American Red Cross, Saturday Flu Shoot Out, the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers and Sisters, the Health Department, First Night Missoula, the YWCA and YMCA, the University of Montana, Missoula Youth Homes, Missoula City Parks and Recreation Department, the Missoula Cultural Council, A Carousel for Missoula and the International Choral Festival, to name a few.
During the school year, Ethel is a deeply respected tutor at Hellgate Elementary. She helps young third grade students with reading, math and other subjects. Jo Fix, the Hellgate classroom teacher, feels that tutors like Ethel are vitally important in the classroom because they can focus exclusive attention on students struggling to improve reading and learning skills. Helping at this young age provides crucial and fundamental educational support to prepare students as they strive to meet basic classroom assignments or advance in higher levels of education. Ethel’s education commitments are deeply rooted in her own experiences and values. She has long recognized that learning to read is necessary for all school subjects and for healthy and successful social and emotional development of children. During her life, Ethel has been aware and responsive to the needs of family, friends, neighbors and the entire Missoula community.